Assad: ‘Earthquake’ if Intervention

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned there would be an “earthquake” that would “burn the whole region” if Western nations intervened in his country. In his first interview with Western journalists since the crackdown began seven months ago, Assad told Britain’s Telegraph that “Syria is a hub of the region … any problem in Syria will burn the whole region.” According to the United Nations, at least 3,000 civilians—including 187 children—have died in the seven-month uprising, but Assad claimed that 1,200 security forces have been killed. He said there were “many mistakes” by his forces in the beginning of the crackdown, but said now security forces targeted only “terrorists.” Despite Assad’s claims, at least 20 people were reportedly killed on Saturday alone when security forces attacked Homs, the center of the country’s protest movement.